ENEGSA-sponsored lecture: Starting a New Job: Negotiating with the Social Systems of Work

Author: Loretta McKinniss
Event Date: October 1, 2009
Speaker: Russell Korte
Speaker Affiliation: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Sponsor: Engineering Education Graduate Student Association (ENEGSA) and the School of Engineering Education.
Time: 3:30-4:30pm
Location: FRNY B124
Contact Name: Alice Pawley
Contact Phone: 6-1209
Contact Email: apawley@purdue.edu
Open To: Faculty, staff, students, visitors

After several years of demanding study, new graduates in engineering emerge from higher education as professionals eager to apply their expertise to technical problems. However, most engineers work within the context of organizations, which impose constraints and demands largely grounded in the complex social systems in the workplace. This seminar presents the results of an ongoing study of the socialization process experienced by newly hired engineers in four different organizations (including one international site). It recounts their rich experiences as they adjust to the workplace and learn the social norms of organizational life.


Russell Korte is an Assistant Professor in Human Resource Education, College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has been a co-investigator for the Collaborative Research Lab at Stanford University, a research assistant for the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education, and is currently a Fellow with the iFoundry project in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

His research investigates how engineering students navigate their education and how engineering graduates transition into the workplace—specifically studying how they learn the social norms of organizations and how they come to understand the social and political systems in the workplace. Research interests include theory, philosophy, workplace learning and performance, socialization, adult education, social psychology, management, and organization studies.